Virtual Cadaver, VR & Feature Films: 3 UNIQUE Learning Tools for Medical Students 2018

3 years ago



The conversation about involving more technology in medical education is ongoing, and yet there is so much innovation to try. Today, humanity has plenty of ways to diagnose a disease and treat the conditions which used to be fatal a century ago. Still, it is important to teach the future doctors to handle their patients with real care. The Typical Student team follows the latest advances in medical education, so we put together a collection of MOST progressive learning aids used by med students across US. Take a look!


#1 Virtual cadaver as surgeon’s best friend



Believe it or not, dead bodies are scarce as learning tools. Pathologists often lack learning materials to practice! And anatomical pathology is one of the most difficult areas of medicine. The researchers at Montpellier Medical University, France, are using 3D scanners to create “virtual cadavers” which are 8 layers deep!


Guillaume Captier, a surgeon and professor at Montpellier, believes this will help surgeons in training learn the basics of dissection before progressing to the real practice. The 3D model was created based on the real cadaver dissected by Captier himself. The surgeon’s crew created two virtual dissections: one for the neck area and one for the pelvis. Each virtual dissection has 8 levels illustrating every part of the body from the skin to the muscles to the arteries.  


#2 Virtual Reality in medical education



To go even deeper and experience an imaginary patient’s symptoms, medical education often involves virtual reality. “We Are Alfred” is one of the immersive VR projects based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The project aims to help medical students feel the symptoms of vision and hearing impairment experienced by elderly people.


Professionals agree that simulation can be extremely effective when rarely-performed, yet highly technical procedures are taught. VR also allows practicing the procedures that require numerous repetition to perfect. For instance, VR will be useful in cardiology for teaching cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) owing to a more realistic environment.


One of such apps is Unimersiv anatomy VR experience that provides students with a close-up look at human nervous system, cardiovascular system as well as bones and muscles.


#3 Feature films as teaching tool in medical schools



How about learning medicine with the help of feature films? Is this even relevant? Turns out it is, according to the article in Medical Education magazine by Spanish researchers Josep-Eladi Bañosa and Fèlix Boschab. They used the movie database to analyze which movies can be used for educational purposes and if they’re accurate enough to even be used! The researchers revealed that feature films can be particularly useful for discussing the bioethical dilemmas with students. For instance, “the question of what is or is not ethical in human research in Extreme Measures (1996), the problem of organ donors in Coma (1978), or the interests of society over individuals in Outbreak (1995).


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